Gareth Ellis – Why I’ve decided to carry on playing in 2020

KEEP GOING: Gareth Ellis in action against Hull KR in April this year. Picture by Ash Allen/SWpix.com
KEEP GOING: Gareth Ellis in action against Hull KR in April this year. Picture by Ash Allen/SWpix.com
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I HAVE decided I do want to carry on playing in 2020 and and I’ve spoken now to Hull FC about potentially doing just that.

I’ve not agreed anything with them as yet but we’ve had chats and it’s something I hope to get sorted.

It excites me. I’ve done it this year where I’ve come out of retirement and had about a month’s preparation before being thrown in at the deep end. I’m excited by what I could do after a full pre-season.

Gareth Ellis

It excites me. I’ve done it this year where I’ve come out of retirement and had about a month’s preparation before being thrown in at the deep end. I’m excited by what I could do after a full pre-season.

Back then, I knew I could have an impact just being around the players. That week at Wigan, my first game back and when we were on that losing run, just me coming out of retirement probably sparked something a bit different for the side

There was a little bit of interest and maybe it put a spring in the step of players who probably were in a bit of a lull having been in such a long losing streak.

But then after playing the initial two or three games – which was the initial plan – it was about performing at Super League level.

Gradually over the weeks I felt like I was getting there and performing at that level, contributing in that way.

I’ve had a bit of a setback with this injury I’ve got which probably could be contributed to the fact that I’ve not done a pre-season.

After all, the reason you do a pre-season is to build a foundation of fitness, and prehab and rehab of potential injuries for the coming season. Obviously I didn’t have that this year.

But I’m feeling pretty good now and hoping to be back playing in the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully I can build again as we look to enter the business end of the season challenging on both fronts. But it actually excites me to think about next year, how I could have a proper pre-season and what I could do on the back of that with some proper foundations built around my body.

Hopefully I can have a good year in 2020. I’m not going to be unrealistic; to get the best out of me, there’ll probably be times when I will need a rest on shorter turnarounds.

That’s up to me to be honest with myself, not just thinking I’ll be able to play every week.

But also there’ll be some liaising with the conditioning staff, those who do have all the degrees and the knowledge about managing that sort of stuff.

I do believe I can have an impact and an effect on what we do next year. We’ve had initial talks and it’s nice – at 38 – to be in this position compared to when you’re in your early 20s and you’re playing needing to earn that next contract.

We’ll probably speak about it over the next few weeks and hopefully get something sorted.

It’s looking like we’re going to have a slightly thinner squad at Hull next year with some more quality at the top end.

I could be a squad player, so to speak, somehow who can hopefully play maybe 20 games and add some value.

I think Lee Radford probably sees that but also knows, from a leadership point of view, I can add that sort of presence as someone who has been there and done it before.

We’ll see how it pans out but first, after another terrific win in France, it’s the derby and heading to Hull KR on Thursday.